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+ servings

Barbecue Pork Butt

Brining the pig ahead of smoking ensures perfectly tender pork every time.
Barbecue purists call this cheating. I call it freakin' awesome.
The smoke is for flavor; the foil time is for texture. If you have an electric smoker that runs to 300°F, feel free to use it for the pork butt's entire cooking time. But do not skip the foil.
I serve this up with white bread and bread and butter pickles. As for sauce...we don't need no stinkin' sauce.
This recipe first appeared in EveryDayCook.
Barbecue pork butt chopped on a butcher block cutting board.
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 17 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 pounds

Software

  • 3 quarts water
  • 12 ounces kosher salt
  • 8 ounces molasses
  • 1 (8- to 10-pound) boneless pork butt

Specialized Hardware

  • 12-quart container
  • Smoker
  • 4 ounces hickory or oak wood chunks
  • Digital instant-read thermometer

Procedure

  • Place the water, salt, and molasses in a 12-quart container and stir until the salt dissolves. Add the pork butt to the brine and weigh down with a zip-top bag filled with 2 cups of the brine to make sure it is completely submerged.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Heat the smoker to 225ºF, add the wood chunks, and place the pork into the smoker. Cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140ºF, 4 to 5 hours.
  • Once the meat reaches 140ºF, heat the oven to 300ºF. Wrap the pork in aluminum foil and transfer to a half-sheet pan. Place on the center rack and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 200ºF, is tender, and pulls apart easily, 3 to 5 hours. Remove from the oven and rest, covered, for 30 minutes before serving.